BGC pledges to maintain safer gambling momentum. Michael Dugher.

Betting shops act as top performers on ID verification

The Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) has stood by the record of UK betting shops in preventing the participation and engagement of under-18s.

Findings published by independent analysts Serve Legal revealed betting shops as ‘top of the league’ with regards to verifying customer ages – outperforming UK convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations.

The results were carried out by Serve Legal undertaking ‘secret shopper’ spot checks, which registered whether staff had asked customers for IDs to process adult purchases.

90% of betting shops were reported to have asked for customer IDs, compared to 83% of convenience stores, 77% of supermarkets and 76%  of petrol forecourts.

The study outlined a marked improvement for betting shops, which had previously registered checks across 67% of venues when tests were first introduced.

BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, noted: “Regulated BGC members have a zero-tolerance approach to under-18s betting and I am delighted to see that the age verification systems in place in betting shops are robust.

“I want to pay tribute to betting shop staff who, like other retailers, have endured a very challenging year of closures, restrictions and fast-changing COVID-19 guidance. Despite those pressures, they have remained absolutely focussed on ensuring the safety of customers and the protection of young people.”

The protection of underage consumers is at the forefront of the BGC’s safer gambling charter, which has been supported by the new tools to prevent under-18s seeing betting adverts and new age verification checks on digital platforms such as YouTube.

Further proactive measures have seen the development of the Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme – funded by £10 million in contributions from BGC members and independently delivered by YGAM and GamCare.

Dugher concluded: “I am proud of the progress we are making in betting shops, online and in casinos. I am absolutely determined – as our members are – that we build on these achievements and continue to do more to protect young people.”

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